Giorgio Chiellini has described his Real Madrid counterpart Sergio Ramos as ‘the best central defender in the world’.
The Juventus defender highlighted his inferior ‘technical quality’ and lack of ‘explosiveness’ in comparison to the Spain international, who he faced on Tuesday in the Champions League quarter final.
“You have to learn from the best, of course, but not supplant them,” Chiellini told Spanish newspaper El Mundo.
“I’ll never have the technical quality or the explosiveness of Sergio Ramos. He’s the best central defender in the world and he knows how to play the matches that really matter.
“In Spain there’s also [Gerard] Pique, who had the good fortune to play alongside [Carles] Puyol and now forms a high-level partnership with [Samuel] Umtiti. [Ernesto] Valverde has formed a defensive unit that Barcelona didn’t have before.
“Puyol was a player who went against the grain of the Barça of Xavi and [Andres] Iniesta, but he was a vital cog in their machine.”